Western Roads Federation, the peak road transport body in WA, is calling on all state operators to stay alert as Tropical Cyclone Ilsa rapidly gathers strength.
WA is bracing for the arrival of a major storm which could bring “very destructive” winds of up to 275km/h.
“Transport companies need to ensure they follow WA Roads updates and emails and they are well prepared with their plans,” tweeted WRF CEO Cam Dumesny.
“Transport companies operating along inland routes such as Great Central and others need to monitor this TC. Don’t be complacent.”
The storm could be the region’s strongest in almost 10 years, authorities say.
Authorities have already closed a 560 km stretch of the Great Northern Highway connecting Broome and Port Hedland.
Ripon Hills Road and Marble Bar Road have also been closed.
The ABC reports that there was now “high confidence” the system would track to the south-east, and cross as a category five system near Pardoo Roadhouse later this evening, Thursday, April 13.
A yellow alert, which orders people to be ready to shelter, has been issued for several remote towns including Port Hedland, a town of 15,000 which is the world’s biggest iron ore exporting port.
Port Hedland mayor Peter Carter said evacuation centres have been set up in the town.
Some 700 residents from the remote community of Bidyadanga were being evacuated, the fire service said.
The BOM also warned of up to 400mm of rain and abnormally high tides, with the storm’s impact felt across a 600km region from Port Hedland to just south of Broome.